Advice about marrying someone who isn’t as affectionate as you’d want

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
4008 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Have you actually talked to him about any of this? That’s where you need to start if not. You could also give him words of affirmation when you guys do show physical affection. When you are holding hands, tell him you enjoy it and why. You might also try to pick up on the ways he does show you that he loves you and appreciate them for what they are. You can’t make someone change their personality,  but hopefully if you mention what you enjoy he will take the initiative to continue it and more. Communication is key.

Post # 3
3359 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

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ladyjane123 :  well the first thing to learn as an adult is that if you want something, you need to ask for it. no one is a mind reader. just because he doesn’t do it withtout asking, doesn’t mean he dosnt care. it just means he’s not psychic. so start there – have a (non-drunken) conversation with him about how important physically affection is to you and see what he says/does.

now, AFTER you’ve had that conversation – if this doesn’t improve/change…tbh, i would leave. i’m very affectionate and coudln’t be with someone who isnt. but even more telling is the idea that you’ve expressed something that;s important to you, and he hasn’t cared enough to work on that. it will tell you very clearly how much he values your feelings. and you dont want to be with anyone who does’t value your feelings.

Post # 4
471 posts
Helper bee

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ladyjane123 :  ” Update: just hashed it all out with my boyfriend and opened up about it. He says what makes him feel loved is me physically being around, spending time with him. Looks like I just need to figure out if I can deal with being so different in our needs.”

What did he say when you told him you need touch in order to feel loved?  Did he agree to try to touch you more often?  Did he say he couldn’t manage that or it made him feel uncomfortable to do that?  Is there any tine when he is comfortable, like snuggling in bed a few minutes in the mornings before getting up?  Could you capitalize on those moments and accept that he isn’t naturally affectionate otherwise? 

Post # 5
11525 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

You may have different love languages, desires, and preferences, but they are not “needs.” Thinking of them that way may make things more difficult than they need to be, since most marriages involve differences and require compromise. We can set ourselves up to be very disappointed if we believe that what we want is what we need.

My DH and I have very different love languages also, and I’ll be honest: It can be very frustrating at times. However, I believe that we are together for a reason, and we’ve both had to learn to deal with some frustration and disappointment in these areas. There certainly are times where each of us intentionally goes out of our way to do something that will mean a great deal to the other person, even if it’s not something that we are naturally inclined to do ourselves. And we really appreciate when the other person does those things. That is one of the ways that we demonstrate our love for and commitment to the other person. Yet, we sometimes have had to learn to accept differences and disappointment at times, too.

Having said all of that, it’s not wrong for you to want to marry someone who shares your same love language(s.) If you don’t want to be with someone who is not as physically affecrionate as you want him to be, then you have a right to wait for someone who is.

Post # 6
95 posts
Worker bee

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Brielle :  “We can set ourselves up to be very disappointed if we believe that what we want is what we need.” – So well put! 

OP, at 9 months if this is really making you unhappy then it’s not wrong to leave and find someone with a love language that aligns more closely with yours. My partner has a different love language than my own (mine is physical touch, his is acts of service) and it sometimes sucks. But it’s doable with a lot of well-managed expectations, open communication, and work to understand the other’s love language and appreciate what they are doing that shows how much they care, even if it isn’t what you would do or like done. And when the other person does make an effort to show you affection in the way that isn’t totally “natural” for them, it’s so special because of that extra thought. 

If you had that convo with your partner and he wasn’t willing to see where you were coming from and try to communicate affection more in your preffered way, then that’s a whole other issue in my mind. But if he was open and willing to work at it with you so you’re both comfortable and satisfied, then I think it’s now up to you to decide if you are also willing to work on it or if you’d really rather be with someone with the same love language. You’re not wrong either way. 

Post # 7
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’m with someone who is crazy physically affectionate, almost over the top, and yet the man can’t verbalize affection to save his life.  He will say I love you but that’s literally it.  No pillow talk, no I like this about you, no it turned me on when you, no I’m proud of you, no I love when you, like ever. We even went to counseling over it because I felt like I was starving. All action and no words is HARD.  

I learned to hear I love you when he builds me something, hear sweet things when he buys me something, hear pride in me when he touches me or looks at me.  And it’s so much better.  But it’s still hard sometimes. 

I would not have stayed if he hadn’t been overly good at filling every other one of my needs. It would not have been worth it if it wasn’t so glaringly obvious to everyone that he adores me.  Yet it’s still sucks when I could spend 10 minutes telling him how much fun I had that day, why I loved him, and what I liked about what he planned and the funny things we did and he just nods and hugs me…. So it can be done but is it worth it?

Post # 8
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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Supernurse :  this is like my man to a T!!

Post # 9
3066 posts
Sugar bee

You two REALLY need to read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman!!!!

Post # 10
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

It’s completely okay if this is a dealbreaker for you. It would be for me. I love affection and cuddles – but don’t care for gifts, for example. Maybe his love language is quality time? 

In a lasting relationship you just click. You can’t change someone, or get blood from a stone 🙁 

Post # 11
1512 posts
Bumble bee

I’m not affectionate but my husband 100% is. It’s worked between us because I understand his needs and put in effort to make him feel loved and appreciated. Just as he does for me. Firstly you guys have to discuss the issue and he has to understand how you’re feeling, then he has to start trying. Give him encouragement even for small gestures, shows that you notice and appreciate it. Also learn to recognise when to give him space when he needs it. HOWEVER If he doesn’t put in any effort, then no it wouldn’t be worth continuing the relationship in my opinion. 

Post # 12
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

The point of the love languages is not to find someone who has the same language as you. It is to speak your partner’s language. So, if you know your partner’s language is quality time, then you make it a point to spend quality time with him. If yours is physical touch, then he should make it a point to physically touch youu. The issue isn’t that you and he don’t speak the same language, it’s that he isn’t putting the effort in to learn your langauge.

Post # 13
5045 posts
Bee Keeper

Well I hope you have at least figured out that basically when you say “If I have to ask, it isn’t natural or worthwhile or meaningful” is basically the same as ” If he isn’t psychic, then he doesn’t love me.”

I’m going to guess whoever taught you that bullshit that people should just automatically paw at you and if they don’t do it and you have to ask, it’s fake either 

A) married the first person they ever dated and they happen to behave that way so they don’t know any better, or 

B) has had a string of really unsuccessful and unfulfilling relationships that didn’t need to be that way if only they had any insight into the fact that 7 billion people don’t all think or act the same way and aren’t psychic.

So definitely stop taking relationship advice from whatever person, rom-com movie, or romance novel you got that idea from.

As for how you deal, you have to decide how important to you it is that your partner think and behave exactly like you.  And then if you decide to not break up in favor of dating your identical twin, you both take the time to learn what the other person likes.  And then you approach it like you do every other thing you aren’t exactly identical about – you compromise and find a way to give a little so you both get what you want.  So, that might mean he agrees to make more of an effort to be more spontaneous with physical affection, you spend more time with him in his preferred manner, and you both learn to verbalize when your wants and needs require more (or less) than what is being offered.  And if you two won’t compromise or can’t find a mutually agreeable method, then you decide if you are okay living with what is being offered.

Post # 14
371 posts
Helper bee

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Supernurse :  I so relate to this!!! My SO just can’t verbalise things either, he does very, very rarely but like you I learnt to hear what I needed to hear from his actions. 

It’s hard at times but life would be harder without him and the differences make us work. 


Post # 15
2159 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

My love language is touch and words of affirmation. My husband’s is acts of service and gifts. It works fine – if I need to be hugged or told that he loves me, then I ask him to. If he needs a cup of tea or wants me to buy him something, he asks me or sends me links to gifts he’d appreciate 😀 We both make an effort to meet in the middle. He’s spontaneously said ”I love you” to me about 5x in the 5 years we’ve been together, and spontaneously hugged me about the same number of times. I don’t care – I know he loves me, because he shows me that he does every day. He goes to huge efforts to cook my favourite meals, do things around the house for me, buy me things he knows I love. I just don’t expect him to be someone he isn’t – I love the man that he is. Ask yourself the same question – do you love your man just as he is and do you want to marry him the way he is? If you do, go for it, if you don’t, walk away, because people don’t fundamentally change.

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